What would have happened if, in 1918, George V had allowed the Russian abdicated Tsar and family to settle in England?
“He would probably have refused to leave Russia.”
This is the opinion of David Gilchrist of St Margaret’s who has researched the life of Tsar Nicholas II who, with his Romanov family, was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.
The decision to refuse asylum by George V, advised by prime minister Lloyd George, has always remained a controversial issue. The British government was scared the invitation would spark a revolution.
Mr Gilchrist, a member of South Foreland Rotary Club and a former chaplain at Dover College, detailed the modern history of Russia from 1854, its various wars and the background to the life of the Tsars up to Nicholas II who was a committed Christian.
Mr Gilchrist has recently returned from a visit to Russia where he attended an Orthodox Christian church ceremony attended by 100,000 people at the site where Nicholas and his family were massacred by the Bolsheviks, before a 14 mile trek to the place where they were buried.
He also visited a wooded area where, during the Stalin era, 20,000 Russians were shot, many because they were Christian church goers. One was a 13-year-old boy accused of stealing two loaves. Villagers living nearby who asked about all the shootings were told it was a military rifle training range.